CUUC

CUUC

2017-12-12

Music: Sun Dec 17

Solo piano works by the great 19th-century virtuoso Franz Liszt are featured in this morning’s Centering Music. “The Christmas Tree”, however, was a collection written for the composer’s granddaughter, and the delicate, transparent writing bespeaks a more domestic side of Liszt’s creative personality. Similarly, Ave Maria, from Liszt’s Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, is more indicative of the composer’s religious piety than his flamboyant populism. This morning’s Offertory, a festive, seasonal waltz, is one of Tchaikovsky’s monthly creations for the St. Petersburg music journal Nouveliste. Elsewhere, the Christmas music of the Spanish region of Catalonia—much in the news of late for its referendum on secession—is showcased. El Cant dels ocells (The Song of the Birds) is a Catalan Christmas carol popularized by the cellist Pau Casals. Que li darem?, sung this morning by our own Kim Force, is a sort of Catalan lullaby to the baby Jesus, in which Magi figures muse about the gifts they will bring the divine infant. Amid all the tenderness and sentimentality, one should reflect on hardened Catalan realism: in that region, it is traditional to depict animal dung in crèche panoramas. Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Ave Maria      
From The Christmas Tree
Psallite!
Adeste fideles
                                                            Franz Liszt

Opening Music:
El cant dels ocells
                        Popular Catalan Christmas Carol, arr. by Joaquin Nin-Culmell

Offertory:
Christmas, Op. 37, No. 12
                                                Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Special Music: Kim Force, soprano
Que li darem?*                      
                                    Popular Catalan Christmas Carol, arr. by Manuel Garcia Morante

*Translation:
The Mother's Boy
What shall we give to the Mother's Boy?
What shall we give him, that He can enjoy?
Raisins and figs and walnuts and olives,
Raisins and figs and honey and mató (a Catalan dessert cheese).

What shall we give to Mary's little son?
What shall we give to the beautiful newborn?
We shall give Him raisins with a set of scales,
We shall give Him figs with a round little bread.

Bom, bom-bom bom, but the figs are unripe!
Bom, bom-bom bom, well, they shall ripen at some point!
If they don't ripen by Easter Sunday
They might ripen by Palm Sunday.

I would also like to sing a song;
A truly lovely love song
That has been inspired by a young maiden
Who is the Virgin, Mother of our Lord!

Don't cry, no, mother's little darling!
Don't cry, no, oh, light of my life!
This is a song that the Mother's Boy,
This is a song that He has enjoyed a lot.

Bom, bom-bom bom, but the figs are unripe!
Bom, bom-bom bom, well, they shall ripen at some point!
If they don't ripen by Easter Sunday
They might ripen by Palm Sunday.


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